WASHINGTON, April 20, 2015 -- A coalition of environmental, food safety and public health groups filed a motion today challenging EPA’s decision to expand the use of Enlist Duo herbicide on genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy crops to nine additional states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota.
The motion by Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety was filed in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network North America. The groups had earlier challenged EPA’s approval of Enlist Duo for use in six Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The groups argue that the herbicide, which combines glyphosate and 2,4-D, will seriously impact farmworkers, neighboring farms, and ground and surface water, as well as endangered species.
“Big chemical is profiting over dumping more and more toxins in our air, water and bodies and killing our endangered wildlife,” Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff said in a news release. “Instead of being an environmental watchdog, the EPA is playing lapdog and allowing this deadly herbicide to be sprayed on millions of acres without adequate impact assessment.”
After extensive testing, EPA approved Enlist Duo to address the increase of glyphosate-resistant weeds that now infest more than 84 million acres of U.S. farmland. According to US Geological Survey pesticide use maps, the amount of glyphosate used on crops in the U.S. increased from 27 million pounds in 1996 to 250 million pounds in 2009.
The pesticide will be used to control weeds in corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate 2,4-D and glyphosate. The EPA said its decision to approve Enlist Duo “is protective of all, including the developing fetus, infants and children, the elderly and farmworkers.”
“2,4-D and glyphosate are two of the most widely used herbicides in the world to control weeds. Dozens of countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and 26 European Union Members have approved these pesticides for use on numerous crops and residential lawns,” the agency notes.
Enlist Duo is the first herbicide for which EPA requires a weed resistance management plan. EPA’s terms of registration require the company to develop a stewardship program, training and education materials, and investigate cases of non-performance, among other requirements.
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